Every one of us has been in a situation where there is a huge obstacle in our Life and we wish there could be someone to help us to overcome that obstacle.
We badly need a solution to the problem. Sometimes we already know the solution but afraid of taking that one step.
Our ancestors narrated the solutions to every challenges in life in the form of stories. Such that we can remember them and apply them in our Life.
Buddhist Stories are full of values and morals. They show us the right way to live and face problems in Life. They show us the practical way to live life to the fullest.
Buddhist Stories are narrated to children in their childhood itself, such that they understand the meaning of life and live their life to the fullest.
If they are followed correctly, The teachings from the stories live with us for the rest of our lives, Helping us in every walk of our life.
Today we are going to see one such Buddhist Story that will be with us for the rest of our lives.
So, Without any further delay let’s get into the story.
Once upon a time, there was a very rich man living in Benares in northern India.
When his father died he inherited even more wealth than he could ever spend.
He thought, why should I use this treasure for myself alone. let my fellow beings also benefit from these riches.
So he built dining halls at the four gates of the city northeast south and west.
In these halls, he gave food freely to all who wished it.
He became very famous for his generosity.
It also became known that he and his followers were practicers of the five training steps(abstain from killing living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication).
In those days there was a silent buddha meditating in the forest near Benares. He was called buddha because he was enlightened.
This means that he no longer experienced himself.
The one called “I” or “Me” as being in any way different from all life living itself.
So he was able to experience life as it really is, in every present moment.
Being one with all life, He was filled with compassion and sympathy for the unhappiness of all beings.
So he wished to teach and help them to be enlightened just as he was.
But the time of our story was most unfortunate.
It was a time when no one else was able to understand the truth and experience life as it really is.
And since buddha knew this that’s why he was silent.
While meditating in the forest the silent buddha entered into a very high mental state.
His concentration was so great that he remained in one position for seven days and nights without eating or drinking.
When he returned to the ordinary state he was in danger of dying from starvation.
At the usual time of day, he went to collect alms food at the mansion of the rich man of Benares.
When the rich man had just sat down to have lunch, He saw the silent buddha coming with his alms bowl.
He rose from his seat respectfully, He told his servants to go and give alms to him.
Meanwhile Mara the god of death had been watching.
Mara is the one who is filled with greed for power over all beings.
He can only have this power because of the fear of death.
Since buddha lives life fully in each moment he has no desire for future life and no fear of future death.
Therefore since Mara could have no power over the silent buddha.
He wished to destroy him when he saw that he was near death from starvation, He knew that he had a good chance of succeeding before the servant could place the food in the silent buddha’s alms bowl.
Mara caused a deep pit of red hot burning coals to appear between them.
It seemed like the entrance to a hell world.
When he saw this, the servant was frightened to death.
He ran back to his master.
The rich man asked him why he returned without giving the alms-food.
He replied, My lord, There is a deep pit full of red hot burning coal just in front of the silent buddha.
The Rich man thought this man must be seeing things so he sent another servant with alms-food.
He also was frightened by the same pit of fiery coals.
Several servants were sent but all returned frightened to death.
Then the master thought there is no doubt that Mara the god of death must be trying to prevent my wholesome deed of giving alms-food to the silent buddha.
Because wholesome deeds are the beginning of the path to enlightenment.
This mara wishes to stop me at all costs, But he does not understand my confidence in the silent buddha and my determination to give.
So he himself took the alms-food to the silent buddha.
He too saw the flames rising from the fiery pit.
Then he looked up and saw the terrible god of death floating above in the sky.
He asked, “who are you?”.
Mara replied, “I am the god of death”.
“Did you create this pit of fire?” asked the man.
“I did”. said the god of death.
Why did you do so?. Asked the Rich man.
“To keep you from giving alms food and in this way to cause the silent buddha to die also to prevent your wholesome deed from helping you on the path to enlightenment. So you will remain in my power.” Mara replied.
The Rich Man of Benares said “Oh mara the god of death, the evil one, you cannot kill the silent buddha and you cannot prevent my wholesome deed of giving alms to Buddha.
Let us see whose determination is stronger.
Then he looked across the raging pit of fire and said to the calm and gentle enlightened one ” Oh silent Buddha let the light of truth continue to shine as an example to us, Accept this gift of life.
So saying, he forgot himself entirely and at that moment there was no fear of death.
As he stepped into the burning pit he felt himself being lifted up by a beautiful cool lotus blossom.
The pollen from this miraculous flower spread into the air and covered him with the glowing colour of gold.
While standing in the heart of the lotus, the great being poured the alms-food into the bowl of the silent buddha.
Mara the god of death was defeated
In appreciation for this wonderful gift, The silent buddha raised his hand in blessing.
The rich man bowed in homage joining his hands above his head.
Then the silent buddha departed from Benares and went to the Himalayan forests still standing on the wonderful lotus glowing with the colour of gold.
The generous master taught his followers, He told them that practicing the five training steps is necessary to purify the mind. (abstain from killing living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and intoxication).
He told them that with such a pure mind there is great merit in giving alms.
Indeed it is truly the gift of life.
When he had finished teaching the fiery pit and the lovely cool lotus completely disappeared.
Moral Of The Story:
In life Have no fear when you are doing something good.
Have no fear when doing wholesome deeds.
When your heart is in the right place with the right intention, Have no fear.
You can have hundreds of hurdles in between you and your goals. If you fear it and run you cannot achieve The greatest things in your life.
A Life Lived In Mediocre Is A Life Wasted.
Face your hurdles in life head-on and rise above them. Because that’s what real achievers do.
Always help others in need without any expectations, because karma beautifully returns to us.
Thousands Of Candles Can Be Lighted From A Single Candle. Happiness Never Decreases By Being Shared.
For if you are doing the right thing, helping the poor, helping the weak, helping the elderly. You are not only helping them but you are helping yourself.
So have strength and courage when you do something good.
I hope you liked this Buddhist Story and carry the essence of this story for the rest of your life.
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